COVID-19 and Glutathione
In an earlier newsletter of mine, Liposomal Glutathione for Fighting Viruses, I referred to a detailed scientific paper titled “The Role of Glutathione in Viral Diseases of the Central Nervous System”. For those who wish, the article in its entirety is available by following the link below, but the opening and closing of that paper are as follows: “Many studies correlated the GSH levels with immune response and suggest adding the glutathione replenishment to highly active antiviral treatment...The studies in viral diseases of the CNS have suggested an important link between GSH, immune response, and antiviral response. The findings indicated that the GSH replenishment can be used in highly active antiviral treatment.” (Source)
This material was gathered in the early days of the coronavirus, and presented the hypothesis that anything that supports the immune system, specifically against viruses, would by its very nature be of value in dealing with COVID-19.
More specific than my general overview on glutathione and viruses, is a recent study titled: “Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients.”
Our intrepid researchers chose to study glutathione based on the simple premise that COVID-19 causes serious illness and death mostly among the elderly, and those with comorbidities (other disease states). Clearly, those with weakened biological functions are going to be more susceptible to infectious agents, including regular influenza and COVID-19.
The aim of this study was “to justify (1) the crucial roles of glutathione in determining individual responsiveness to COVID-19 infection and disease pathogenesis and (2) the feasibility of using glutathione as a means for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 illness”.
Their hypothesis that glutathione deficiency is the most plausible explanation for serious illness and death in COVID-19 patients, “was proposed on the basis of an exhaustive literature analysis and observations”.
Pre-existing animal and human studies have already determined that the “levels of endogenous glutathione progressively decline with aging, thereby making cells in the elderly more susceptible to oxidative damage caused by different environmental factors compared to younger individuals.”
Furthermore, “deficiency in endogenous glutathione is common in individuals with chronic diseases (comorbidity)as well as in individuals with a worsening prognosis of COVID-19”.
All of which led to their thesis that “decreased levels of glutathione occurring in COVID-19 patients with chronic diseases could be a triggering factor t hat shifts redox homeostasis toward oxidative stress, thereby exacerbating lung inflammation and leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure, and death”.
Within this study is a reference to a small study, done at Kursk State Medical University (Russia), in which the glutathione levels of COVID-19 patients were actually analysed. Those with moderate to severe symptoms had lower levels of glutathione than the patients showing mild symptoms. And those patients with moderate to high levels of glutathione recovered easily, while those with low levels were still severely sick (at the time of the study).
In another reference, they addressed the link between vitamin D deficiency and severe symptoms, and death, in COVID-19 patients, concluding that, “several studies reported that glutathione levels positively correlate with active vitamin D”.
(More on that subject can be found in this newsletter: Vitamin D Status and Covid-19)
In the primary study we are examining, the authors conclude their work quite definitively.
“Endogenous glutathione deficiency appears to be a crucial factor enhancing SARS-CoV-2-induced oxidative damage of the lung and, as a result, leads to serious manifestations, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure, and death in COVID-19 patients.”
“When the antiviral activity of GSH is taken into account, individuals with glutathione deficiency seem to have a higher susceptibility for uncontrolled replication of SARS-CoV-2 virus and thereby suffer from an increasing viral load. Therefore, restoration of glutathione levels in COVID-19 patients would be a promising approach for the management of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.” (Study)
And, indeed, a recently published study somewhat confirmed this hypothesis: “the authors reported the efficacy of glutathione therapy in relieving dyspnea associated with COVID-19 pneumonia.” (Study)
(Dyspnea, or “shortness of breath”, is one of the hallmark symptoms of COVID-19. Unlike many other conditions that can cause shortness of breath, this symptom can persist and quickly escalate in people with COVID-19. Source)
For those who consider themselves, or their loved ones, in the danger zone when it comes to getting COVID-19, it would be a good idea to keep some Liposomal Glutathione on hand. When illness strikes, having the tools necessary to cope with it immediately available, allows one to start fighting the infection before it gets hold of us. The second most valuable tool for immediately shutting down a viral infection is Liposomal Vitamin C.
As discussed in my newsletters on natural approaches to dealing with COVID-19, the liposomal forms of vitamin C and glutathione are at least as effective as the intravenous versions used by the medical system. And, perhaps even more effective, as the nutrients enter into the cells more efficiently in a liposomal form than via intravenous delivery.